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Prelims Spotlight: Schemes, Project, and Policies Regarding Science and Technology

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04th May 2022

1. SATHI

The Department of Science & Technology has launched a unique scheme calledSophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institutes(SATHI)”.

Objectives of the Scheme

  • SATHI will address the problems of accessibility, maintenance, redundancy and duplication of expensive equipment in the institutions.
  • This will also foster a strong culture of collaboration between institutions and across disciplines to take advantage of developments, innovations and expertise in diverse areas.

2. National Blockchain Strategy

The ‘National Strategy on Blockchain’ as brought out by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, is the move in the direction towards enabling trusted digital platforms creating blockchain framework for the development of applications based on this technology.

About NBS

  • Aim: To provide trusted digital platform for providing e – governance services using blockchain technology.

    Objectives
  • Creation of trusted digital platforms through blockchain.
  • To make India a global leader in Blockchain Technology.
  • Provide trusted, secure and transparent service delivery to citizens and businesses.

3. Project MANAV: Human Atlas Initiative

  • For the first time, Indian scientists will be mapping every single tissue of the human body to have a deeper understanding of the roles of tissues and cells linked to various diseases.
  • Department of Biotechnology (DBT) launched MANAV: Human Atlas Initiative towards improving knowledge on human physiology.
  • It is a project funded by DBT, which aims at creating a database network of all tissues in the human body from the available scientific literature.
  • It is a project that involves scientific skill development for annotation, science outreach along with handling big data.
  • It will involve gaining better biological insights through physiological and molecular mapping, develop disease models through predictive computing and have a holistic analysis and finally drug discovery.
  • The student community, who will be the backbone on assimilating the information, will be trained and imparted with skills to perform annotation and curation of information that will ultimately form the online network.
  • DBT has invested funds shared between two institutions in Pune – National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) and Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Pune.
  • Besides, Persistent Systems Limited has co-funded the project and is developing the platform.

4. Project Cosmic Microwave Background-Bharat

  • CMB stands for Cosmic Microwave Background, and the scientific space project CMB-Bharat has been presented as a proposal to ISRO and is under consideration.
  • In the workshop, project CMB-Bharat, which could help us listen to the faintest murmurs of the early universe, was discussed.
  • CMB-Bharat is a proposal for comprehensive next-generation Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) mission in international collaboration with major Indian contribution.
  • This referred to quantum gravitational waves, which are different from what LIGO detectors had observed that were classical in nature.

5. Phyto-Pharma Plant Mission

Objectives

  • Rs 50 crore Mission aimed at conservation and cultivation of endangered and threatened endemic medicinal plants, and discovery of new botanical drugs for unmet medical needs using the rich traditional ethnobotanical knowledge and biodiversity of these states and at the same time also improve the availability of authentic and quality botanical raw material on a sustainable basis for a boom in the phyto-pharmaceutical industry
  • Nodal Ministry –Ministry of Science & Technology

6. Biotech-PRIDE Guidelines

The Union Ministry for Science & Technology has released “Biotech-PRIDE (Promotion of Research and Innovation through Data Exchange) Guidelines” developed by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT)

Biotech-PRIDE

  • These guidelines aim at providing a well-defined framework and guiding principle to facilitate and enable sharing and exchange of biological knowledge, information and data.
  • They will facilitate this and enable the exchange of information to promote research and innovation in different research groups across the country.
  • They will be implemented through the Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC) at Regional Centre for Biotechnology supported by the Department of Biotechnology.

7. Drone Rules, 2021

Some of the key features are as under:

Number of forms: The rules propose to reduce the number of forms required for manufacturing, importing, testing, certifying and operating drones in India from 25 to six.

Abolishing authorization number: The draft seeks to abolish the unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, and certificate of conformance that were previously required for approval of drone flights.

Digital Sky Platform: Digital Sky, a platform launched by the government in December 2018, will become a single-window system for all approvals under the newly proposed rules.

Airspace map: An airspace map segregating the entire landmass of India into Green, Yellow and Red zones will be published on the platform within 30 days of notification of the new rules, the government said. The map will also be machine-readable through an Application Programming Interface (API) for easier plotting of drone flight paths.

Airport Perimeter: The draft rules reduced the airport perimeter from 45 km to 12 km. The rules state that no flight permissions would be required to fly up to 400 feet in green zones and up to 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter.

Drone corridors: The government will also publish a policy framework for Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) within 60 days of notifying the rules. This will also include frameworks for developing “drone corridors” for the safe transfer of goods by drones.

Drone Promotion Council: The Rules also propose the setting up of a Drone Promotion Council, with the aim of facilitating a business-friendly regulatory regime for drones in India, the establishment of incubators for developing drone technologies and organizing competitive events to showcase drones and counter-drone solutions.

Others: To implement safety features such as “no permission, no take-off”, real-time tracking and geofencing, drone manufacturers, importers and operators will get six months’ time to comply from the date of notification of the rules.

8. CYBER Attacks in India

Common types of cyber-attacks are:

(1) Backdoor Trojan

  • A backdoor Trojan creates a backdoor vulnerability in the victim’s system, allowing the attacker to gain remote, and almost total, control.
  • Frequently used to link up a group of victims’ computers into a botnet or zombie network, attackers can use the Trojan for other cybercrimes.

(2) Cross-site scripting (XSS) attack

  • XSS attacks insert malicious code into a legitimate website or application script to get a user’s information, often using third-party web resources.

Denial-of-service (DoS)

  • DoS and Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks flood a system’s resources, overwhelming them and preventing responses to service requests, which reduces the system’s ability to perform.
  • Often, this attack is a setup for another attack.

(3) DNS tunnelling

  • Cybercriminals use DNS tunnelling, a transactional protocol, to exchange application data, like extract data silently or establish a communication channel with an unknown server, such as a command and control (C&C) exchange.

(4) Malware

  • Malware is malicious software that can render infected systems inoperable. Most malware variants destroy data by deleting or wiping files critical to the operating system’s ability to run.

(5) Phishing

  • Phishing scams attempt to steal users’ credentials or sensitive data like credit card numbers.
  • In this case, scammers send users emails or text messages designed to look as though they’re coming from a legitimate source, using fake hyperlinks.

(6) Ransomware

  • Ransomware is sophisticated malware that takes advantage of system weaknesses, using strong encryption to hold data or system functionality hostage.
  • Cybercriminals use ransomware to demand payment in exchange for releasing the system. A recent development with ransomware is the add-on of extortion tactics.

(7) Zero-day exploit

  • Zero-day exploit attacks take advantage of unknown hardware and software weaknesses. These vulnerabilities can exist for days, months or years before developers learn about the flaws.

9. VAJRA

Objectives –

  • The Government of India recently launched VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty scheme by the Department of Science and Technology which enables NRIs and overseas scientific community to participate and contribute to research and development in India. The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body of the Department will implement the Scheme.
  • International Faculty / scientists/technologists including Non-resident Indians (NRI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) / Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) are offered adjunct / visiting faculty positions in Indian Institutions / Universities for a period of 1-3 months under this scheme. The faculty can also undertake the role of teaching /mentoring apart from R&D.
  • Public funded institutions and national laboratories are allowed to host the VAJRA faculty.
  • Nodal Ministry –Ministry of Science & Technology

10. National Initiative for Developing & Harnessing Innovation (NIDHI)

Objectives

A programme to address the complete chain of innovation ecosystem right from scouting to mentoring to scaling up innovations. launched by DST. Establishment of a research park at IIT Gandhinagar has been supported at a cost of Rs.90 cr.

11.Surya Jyoti

Objectives

  • In order to capture daylight and concentrate the same inside a dark room, particularly in the urban slum or rural areas which lack electricity supply, a low cost and energy-efficient Micro Solar Dome (Surya Jyoti) has been tested and developed. -Potential users of this device are10 million households.
  • According to preliminary estimates, if this technology is adopted in 10 million households only, it has the potential of saving 1750 million units of energy.
  • It would also lead to an emission reduction of about 12.5 million ton of CO2 equivalent, hence giving a fillip to the mission of ‘Clean India, Green India’.
  • The manufacturing process, being labour-intensive, would also generate huge job opportunities in the economy.
  • Nodal Ministry – Department of Science & Technology.

12. Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan

  • Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan is running successfully to motivate children to learn Science, Maths and Technology through observation and experimentation.
  • It was launched on 9th July 2015 by Late Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India.
  • Nodal Ministry-HRD Ministry.

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